Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no battle of equals so there should be no false equivalence – Kenny MacAskill MP

We all bleed the same, Jew or Gentile, and a loved one’s loss is equally sorely felt, irrespective of race or faith.

Mohammad al-Hadidi feeds his son Omar, who was pulled alive from the rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on the Shati refugee camp. All his other children, Suhayb, 13, Yahya, 11, Abderrahman, eight, and Osama, six, and their mother Maha Abu Hattab, 36, were killed, (Picture: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

So, it’s right that peace should be sought and those perpetrating killings, whoever they are, be told to desist. But there’s a false equivalence being spun about what’s happening in Israel and Palestine.

On one side, there’s the Israeli state with its considerable military and civil power whilst on the other there’s Palestinian protesters and some Islamic militants.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

It’s not a battle of equals and the death tolls show it. There’s no point in me putting down the numbers so far as they’re tragically worsening on a daily basis. But what remains unaltered is that they are disproportionately suffered by Palestinian civilians.

That isn’t to deny the terror faced by many Israelis on a daily basis or the devastation to the family of an Israeli police officer killed on duty.

But it’s a clear fact that it’s overwhelmingly Palestinians who are dying and all too often children. The firepower possessed by Israeli warplanes, never mind missiles guided whether by drone or satellite, ensures it.

Read More

Read More
Gaza: Hundreds march in Edinburgh to protest against violence in Gaza

Sticks and stones of outraged Palestinians or Israeli Arabs are a danger but far from an equivalent threat.

Israeli soldiers fire shells towards the Gaza Strip from a position along the border (Picture: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Missiles fired by Islamic militants are far more deadly, but the Iron Dome shield system and immediate reaction by Israeli through counterattacks are nullifying them.

In many ways, the militants’ missiles are the last desperate attack of individuals not so much seeking martyrdom but expressing outrage at the futility of their lives, and willing to do so irrespective of the consequences for Palestinian authorities or even the retribution it’ll bring down upon their own people.

False equivalence is also spun in reporting, both from those distant lands and in the UK. Condemning those who drove through St John’s Wood adorned with Palestinian flags, shouting anti-semitic comments is correct but the profile it was given was disproportionate.

Tens of thousands demonstrated peacefully over the weekend in support of Palestine but with little coverage. Yet one isolated incident was used to set the agenda on the BBC.

In war and reporting, it’s not a battle of equals.

Kenny MacAskill is the Alba Party MP for East Lothian

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.